BOOK SIGNING AND CHARACTER MEET AND GREET. Saturday 1st February from 11.30am. Booking Essential.
To celebrate 20 years of the Acorn Wood books, we have a very special visitor on February 1st! Postman Bear will be making an appearance at the Steyning Bookshop, accompanied by his creator, Julia Donaldson! We will have Acorn Wood themed games and activities, free refreshments for children, and of course Julia will be meeting fans to sign books purchased at the shop.
To book your place, either call the shop on 01903 812062, pop in, or use our NEW ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM! This event is essentially free – with a book purchase. To allow for online booking, we will charge £7 per family group. A family group can consist of either 1 or 2 adults and up to 3 children. This will entitle you to a confirmed place at the signing. Your £7 payment will be deducted from the price of the Julia D book/s that you purchase on the day. The Steyning Bookshop will have a full range of all Julia’s books on sale for signing, including of course, all the lovely Acorn Wood books! We regret that attendees are not permitted to bring books purchased elsewhere to be signed by Julia. Booking will be in timed half hour slots, starting at 11.30am.
The 11.30, 12 and 12.30 slots are full, we are booking into afternoon slots now. Please give us a ring on 01903 812062 if this link does not work or the slot has sold out without us noticing!
2 pm slot.
The delightful Acorn Wood series are some of our very favourite picture books for pre-schoolers. With their simple rhyming stories, charming illustrations by Axel Scheffler and fun flaps to peek under on every page, they are a perfect introduction into Julia and Axel’s world. The original four stories are Postman Bear, Fox’s Socks, Hide and Seek Pig, and Rabbit’s Nap, which have all been re-issued as smart new anniversary editions by Macmillan to celebrate 20 years in print! Even more excitingly, Julia and Axel are creating four new stories set to be published in 2021 and 2022.
On Monday 27th January 2020 at 11.30am we have a very special story time for little people! Actors from the brilliant Freckle Theatre production of Zog, which will be at the Capitol in Horsham next week, are kindly joining us at the bookshop for a story time session.
Expect much raucous roarsome fun! Perfect for pre-schoolers. Please book in advance so we know how many little people to expect. Only £3, redeemable against book purchase.
Tuesday 11th February 7.30pm at the Gluck Studio.
We are really excited to have finally bagged a visit from Brian Bilston, the hilarious poet and novelist, frequently described as the ‘Accidental Poet Laureate of Twitter’. Brian’s novel ‘Diary of a Somebody’ is just out in paperback and has been short-listed for the Costa Book Award, First Novel Category.
‘Diary of a Somebody’ is the achingly funny story of a year in the life of .. ‘Brian Bilston’. It’s January 1st and Brian Bilston’s life needs to change. His ex-wife has taken up with a new man, a motivational speaker and marketing guru to boot; he seems to constantly disappoint his long-suffering son; and at work he is drowning in a sea of spreadsheets and management jargon. Brian’s resolution is to write a poem every day; poetry will be his salvation. But there is an obstacle to his happiness in the form of Toby Salt, his arch nemesis in the Poetry Group and rival suitor to Liz, Brian’s new poetic inspiration. When Toby goes missing, Brian is the number one suspect… Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some of the funniest poems about the mundane and the profound, Diary of a Somebody is a unique, warm, and hilarious novel.
Brian Bilston has been dubbed ‘the Banksy of Poetry’ – he has kept his identity secret and stumbled into poetry via composing short poems on Twitter, eventually racking up more than 50,000 followers. His first volume of poetry ‘You Took the Last Bus Home’ was released in 2017, and ‘Diary of a Somebody’ came out in 2019. His powerful poem ‘Refugees’ has also been released as a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book. His clever, wry poems can take the shape of Christmas trees or Venn diagrams, he can poke fun at grammar pedants, and take the piss out of Jeremy Clarkson, but also tap into profound depths.
Tickets are £12 to include a paperback copy of ‘Diary of a Somebody’, plus wine & nibbles. Brian’s other books will also be on sale.
Pop into the shop, give us a ring on 01903 812062 , or book online – we think this will be a popular one so buy soon!
Book online here
‘Glorious. I will be astonished if I read a more original, more inventive or funnier novel this year.’ – Adam Kay, author of This Is Going to Hurt
An Evening with Elly Griffiths, Wednesday 26th February at 7.30pm, at the Gluck Studio.
We are thrilled that Elly Griffiths has kindly agreed to talk to us about her new novel The Lantern Men – the 12th installment in her hugely popular Ruth Galloway series.
The Lantern Men sees our favorite forensic archaelogist Ruth Galloway, who has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer working for North Norfolk police, lured back to the Fens by by convicted murderer Ivor March. Ivor has offered the police a deal – he will reveal the location of 4 more bodies – but only if Ruth does the digging. The bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths. Is Ivor March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?
We can’t wait to find out more about the background to this chilling story!
Tickets are £8, ticket price includes wine & nibbles, and entitle the ticket bearer to money off a signed hardback copy of The Lantern Men.
To book, either pop into the shop, call us on 01903 812062, or book online here:
Steyning resident, historian, and writer David Boyle is the author of numerous books on a huge range of subjects – from history and economics, through alternative currencies, grass-roots politics and parenting in the computer age, to allotments and fairies!
We are thrilled that David has agreed to introduce his latest book, TickBox, at an evening event at the lovely Gluck Studio on Thursday 30th January. 7.30pm.
Tickbox is a powerful expose of modern ‘Tickbox’ culture – that is; official or corporate incompetence, whereby a company / organisation will ‘tick the box’ but fail to act. It is increasingly used to describe the gap between official spin and reality.
In the book, David uncovers the insidious philosophy of automation and the misuse of data which lies behind this tickbox culture. It makes our public services less effective – and makes them soar in costs – it lies behind so many stark injustices and disasters, from Grenfell Tower to the deportation of the Windrush generation. It vacuums up the resources of the NHS pursuing pointless targets, badgers us to evaluate every purchase or experience, and consumes vast swathes of TIME!
Always arguing for the human spirit against technocratic reductionism, David suggests a series of ways out – starting with recognising the danger and calling it out for what it is – a massive system failure, corroding our lives and our ability, as human beings, to act on the world!
Come and hear all about ‘TickBox’ distilled into an hour-long talk, with free wine & refreshments.
Ticket Price £5. Ticket bearers entitled to £5 off book.
We are delighted to welcome novelist Jess Kidd to Steyning, on Thursday 23rd January 2020, for a literary evening at the Gluck Studio.
Jess will be discussing her latest novel Things in Jars, alongside her previous novels, The Hoarder and Himself.
Jess Kidd has been praised for her unique fictional voice. She was brought up in London as part of a large family from County Mayo, and her work has been described as ‘Gabriel García Márquez meets The Pogues.’ Her debut, Himself, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards in 2016. She won the Costa Short Story Award the same year. Her second novel, The Hoarder (published as Mr. Flood’s Last Resort in the U.S.), was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2019. Both books were BBC Radio 2 Book Club Picks. She is published by Canongate.
Jess is currently working on her fourth novel and first children’s book. She is also developing her own original TV projects with leading U.K. and international TV producers.
This is an event in conjunction with our bookshop bookgroups, which is also open to the public. ALL WELCOME
Public tickets are £10 this includes a paperback copy of Things in Jars (or another of Jess’s books) plus wine and nibbles.
On Wednesday 4th December from 6-9pm Steyning High Street becomes a winter wonderland! With street entertainers, live music, a candle-lit procession, Father Christmas in his vintage transport, and a host of wondrous stalls selling all manner of artisan gifts, plus delicious, tempting food stalls, and, of course, most of the high street shops open for business.
As always, at the bookshop we will be dispensing Rob’s legendary home-made mulled wine, to accompany Sara’s famously melt-in-the-mouth mince pies, and this year our guest author is Julia Donaldson!
Although the shop is open all evening from 6pm-9pm, Julia will only be signing at the shop from 7.45-9pm, we calculate this is enough time for about 30 families to meet her, so, if you want to be SURE you’ll get a chance to buy a book and get it signed & dedicated in person, we recommend you give us a ring on 01903 812062 to book your place.
Julia’s latest book is The Smeds & the Smoos (£12.99 hardback), a hilarious and heart-warming inter-galactic love story – she’ll be signing this and all her previous books.
On Saturday 14th December at 11am we are delighted to welcome author/illustrator Sue Hendra back to the Steyning Bookshop for a fun morning of stories and simple crafting with a Christmassy theme.
Sue Hendra is a firm Steyning Bookshop favourite, having visited us with her partner, Paul Linnet, many times over the years sharing their hilarious and best-selling Supertato books. This time, she will read her festively funny new picture book Oh, Christmas Tree and help children make some Christmassy crafts.
It’s Christmas time and every tree on Sidney Street is beautifully decorated – except for one! This rebellious tree would rather sit at the table and pull crackers on Christmas day than stand in a corner wearing glittery decorations! Bauble, Belle and the Tinsel Snake need the tree to behave, so they can fulfil their decorating destinies, but the argumentative tree just won’t stand still and be decorated….
Tickets are £4 per child, which can be redeemed against the purchase of one of Sue’s books.
Free refreshments will be served – please let us know in advance if your child has any food allergies.
Call 01903 812062 or pop into the bookshop to book your place, or book online here.
On Thursday November 14th from 7pm until 9pm we are really delighted to offer a Christmas Card lino-cut workshop led by Sarah Burns and Alice Garner.
Sarah Burns is a textile designer and woodblock printer who creates beautiful hand printed textiles, runs natural-dye / print-making workshops and has teamed up with Alice Garner as Steyning Imprint, producing delightful lino-cut tea-towels, hand-made notebooks, and other items – you may have seen their lovely Steyning tea-towels on sale in the bookshop. Both of them moonlight from their creative endeavours as part-time Steyning Bookshop staff!
Sarah and Alice will teach participants how to use lino-cut to produce lovely Christmas card designs. No experience is necessary, all levels from beginners up are welcome, and all materials are provided.
Wine / tea / coffee and nibbles will be served to help the creative juices flow.
Places are strictly limited to 14 participants, so please book your place asap. This event is for adults.
£20 per person.
Call 01903 812062 to book, pop into the shop, or book online here .
On Tuesday 8th October, join us for an evening of confessional girly fun with added gin as we welcome novelist Jane Hoggarth to talk about her ‘Single Mum’ novels.
After her husband walked out on her, leaving her with three young children, Janet Hoggarth teamed up with two single mum friends and formed a ‘mommune’. Three women, six children, in one South London house, living, laughing and sharing together – “Like a marriage, but better”. Sounds like a dream!
Janet turned her memories of this time into a funny, fresh and warm-hearted novel, ‘The Single Mums’ Mansion’, and has now published the follow-up – ‘The Single Mums Move On’.
Janet will share her memories of what led to her forming the ‘mommune’ and what followed, as well as talking about the novels and her literary life.
Tickets are £5 to include a complimentary glass of gin and tonic and a voucher towards book purchase!
Janet Hoggarth has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, children’s book editor, and as a DJ (with her best friend, under the name of Whitney and Britney!). She has published several children’s books, the most recent ones written under the pseudonym of Jess Bright. Her first adult novel, The Single Mums’ Mansion is based on her experiences of living communally as a single parent.
Thursday 3rd October at 7.30pm.
Come celebrate National Poetry Day with us and the good folks of ‘Spoken Steyning’ at the lovely Gluck Studio.
An evening of poetry, wine and music, with local poets including Simon Zec sharing their work, also featuring a poetry ‘free for all’ where anyone can share a favourite poem, whether it be self-penned or written by a pro! Special (non-local?) guest poet to be announced nearer the time! Pleasing folky live music will add to the ambience, and wine will flow.
Very last minute but Julia has just kindly agreed to come for a signing for her brilliant new book The Smeds and the Smoos!
This will take place on Saturday 7th September here at the Steyning Bookshop, from 10.30 am till 12.30 pm. If you wish to attend, you must pre-order and pay for your copy of The Smeds and the Smoos (£12.99) by phoning us on 01903 812062 or popping into the shop. For queue management, we will divide the 2 hour period into 30 minute time slots, and let you know your time slot when you pre-order. As always, all Julia’s other books will be on sale and available for signing, you can shop for these when you arrive. We must ask that you do not bring books purchased elsewhere, or books from home to be signed. If the weather is warm the signing will be in the garden. Free activities and refreshments for children will be provided.
*Local customers who are not able to attend the signing but wish to obtain a signed and dedicated book can pre-order a book to be picked up at a later date*
The Smeds and the Smoos is an out of this world intergalactic love story from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
In a distant galaxy, far far away…The Smeds (who are red) never mix with the Smoos (who are blue), so when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love, their families strongly disapprove. The star-struck lovers elope on a cosmic rocket trip around the universe, meeting all manner of curious extra-terrestrials. Eventually, a bouncing purple baby brings the two tribes together, and love and unity prevail!
This wonderful picture book is a joyous celebration of inclusivity and diversity, with Julia Donaldson’s humorous rhymes exuberantly brought to life by Axel’s colourfully hilarious illustrations. A real treat for bedtimes!
We are really pleased to welcome the marvellous Camilla Stephens to the Steyning & District Food & Drink Festival. Camilla is the founder of the acclaimed locally based success story Higgidy Pies. She trained as a cook at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and worked for a time as head of food development for Starbucks UK before leaving to follow her dreams and start her own business – Higgidy.
In her first cookery book, Higgidy:The Cookbook, Camilla introduced excitingly delicious recipes for much more than just pies, and now she has produced Higgidy – The Veggie Cookbook: 120 glorious recipes for Vegetarians and Vegans, a mouth-watering and inspiring collection of recipes very definitely not just for vegetarians, but for anyone who enjoys fresh flavours!
This will be a great evening, with scrumptious food cooked by the Sussex Produce Chef followed by an fascinating interview with Camilla, who’ll share anecdotes, tips and stories from her inspirational career.
£30 ticket includes delicious freshly-cooked 3 course meal, author interview, and a book voucher towards purchase of Higgidy – The Veggie Cookbook.
Here is the menu for the evening:
Selection plates of: Higgidy Feta & Red Pepper Veggie Rolls, Higgidy Cheddar & Onion Chutney Veggie Rolls, Higgidy Sun lBush Tomato & Cheddar Swirls, Higgidy Mature Cheddar & Pesto Swirls, All served with Beetroot Muhammar, REd Pepper Romesco, and Broad Bean and Mint dip.
MAINS (please make your choice after booking and email / phone / pop in to let us know your choices)
Local Broad Bean & Chives Gnocchi served with shaved parmesan and local pea cress.
Local Smoked Cheddar Tart with Walnut Crumb served with local beetroot quinoa and a salad of local apples, celery and dill.
Buffalo Mozzarella Salad, mixed Nutbourne Tomato and Green Olive Focaccia Salad.
DESSERTS (please make your choice after booking and email / phone / pop in to let us know your choices)
Local Greengage Fool served with fresh berries & homemade shortbread
Local Plum Cobbler served with creme anglaise
Fig & Almond Frangipane Tart served with fresh berries & whipped mascarpone.
Doors open at 7pm, meal begins at 7.30pm. Tickets must be booked in advance and menu choices must be submitted in advance.
We are so pleased to welcome the wonderful writer/illustrator Sophy Henn to our bookshop garden tent for a fun kids event!
Sophy will get busy with stories plus drawing, cutting, sticking and making activities based around her lovely picture book Super Duper You, a gorgeous rhyming picture book which celebrates the difference and uniqueness of what makes you YOU!
This event is perfect for children aged 4-8. All materials will be provided, free refreshments will be served, and the £4 ticket price is redeemable against a purchase of one of Sophy’s books.
Sophy Henn is a Sussex-based writer/illustrator who is a real rising star! Where Bear?, her first picture book, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2015, and she was selected as the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2015 and 2016. Her jolly, bright and charming picture books which include Pass it On, Edie and Almost Anything have earned her widespread acclaim, and now she has branched out into chapter books with her hilarious Bad Nana series!
Wednesday 14th August starting at 10.30am.
On Tuesday 16th July, at 7.30 pm we are delighted to celebrate the launch of a new crime imprint from the acclaimed independent publishing house Canongate; Black Thorn, which will be dedicated to publishing compulsive, high quality crime fiction. We are thrilled that Simon Brett and Caro Ramsey, two veteran crime authors from the new Blackthorn imprint, will be joining us at the Gluck Studio to discuss their craft.
Sussex resident Simon Brett is a very well-loved crime writer, who was awarded an OBE for ‘services to literature’ in 2016. In 2014 he won the CWA’s prestigious Diamond Dagger for an outstanding body of work. Simon has written over 100 books and plays, with the Fethering Mysteries series being one of his most popular and enduring creations, so fans will be delighted to learn that now Blackthorn are publishing The Liar in the Library, the most recent instalment of the Fethering series. Filled with eccentric suspects, red-herrings and twists at every turn, and starring much-loved, eccentric, amateur detectives Jude Nichol and Carole Seldon, Simon Brett proves once again that he is the master of the modern who-dunnit.
Meanwhile, Glaswegian author Caro Ramsay is also a seasoned professional – The Suffering of Strangers is the ninth book in her critically acclaimed DI Anderson and DS Costello series. Never fearful of facing sensitive or serious issues head on, Caro tackles topics ranging from violent child abuse and sexual assault to child trafficking. Her novels are informed by her diploma in Forensic Medical Science from Glasgow University and from her own involvement in healthcare as a successful osteopath. The Suffering of Strangers is a tautly plotted and compellingly gritty drama centring around a child abduction case, set amidst the seedy back streets of Glasgow.
We are really looking forward to hearing Simon and Caro discuss the nitty-gritty of crime writing, it promises to be a fascinating evening for curious crime fans!
On Wednesday July 10th we are thrilled to announce a very special Double Author Supper at the Sussex Produce Company Cafe, welcoming novelists Mike Gayle and Ruth Hogan to Steyning for the first time. A perfect pairing of two very popular novelists known for their heartfelt, moving and uplifting stories.
Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from university with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career as a journalist, features editor and agony uncle. The success of his first novel, My Legendary Girlfriend, meant he could turn to writing full-time, and he has now published 16 novels! Mike’s bestselling novels have taken his millions of readers through every significant occasion for the modern man – friendship, courtship, stag weekends, marriage, work, holidays, infidelity, mid-life crises….all tackled with his trademark wit, warmth and wisdom – supremely readable and more-ish! His latest novel Half a World Away follows single mum Kerry as she begins to search for the sibling who was torn away from her when she was taken into care as a child…a heart-breaking mission which will turn lives upside down and have far-reaching consequences.
Ruth Hogan’s first novel The Keeper of Lost Things was published in 2017, to huge acclaim. Winner of the Richard & Judy Reader’s Award, a Sunday Times best-seller, and one of the Mail on Sunday‘s ‘Best books to read on the beach this summer’, it is a poignant story with vivid and lovable characters. Ruth’s second novel, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes was a Prima Best Book of 2018, and continued to show Ruth’s gift for creating eccentric characters amidst a heart-rending story. Ruth will discuss her new novel, Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel – a colourful exploration of mother-daughter relationships, set partly in Brighton. Ruth has had a rocky journey to writing; a car accident and a brush with cancer caused her to give up her day job in local government but allowed her to devote more time to the writing she had always loved.
We can’t wait to meet Mike and Ruth and hear more about their writing lives!
Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start. Tickets priced £30 include a delicious 2 course hot meal and a signed copy of either Mike’s new novel Half a World Away or Ruth’s latest: Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel.
Sunday 23rd June at 10.30am. Meet at Chanctonbury Ring Car Park.
Join anthropologist and presenter Mary-Ann Ochota for a 2 hour guided circular walk around Chanctonbury Ring. Mary-Ann will share her knowledge of the man-made landscape features we encounter along the way, and will tell us about all the particular features unique to this fascinating Weald & Downland area, which has a wealth of history.
2 hour walk, not suitable for push-chairs or wheel-chairs. Sensible footwear and clothing advised. The route will follow public footpaths and may include some fairly steep ascents. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Start and end point will be the Chanctonbury Ring car park, opposite the Wiston turning on the A283.
Saturday 22nd June, 3pm, The Gluck Studio. Talk with slideshow. Free tea & cake!
Join anthropologist, TV presenter and writer Mary-Ann Ochota on a journey through Britain’s historic landscape.
Mary-Ann’s brilliant and essential book Hidden Histories; a Spotter’s Guide to the British Landscape is a real favourite at The Steyning Bookshop, and now we are lucky enough to have Mary-Ann in person to bring it all to life, with a fantastic talk and slideshow on Saturday, and a guided walk on Sunday!
What clues will tell you the origins of a village, or the age of a hedgerow? Why was this avenue of trees planted? How to tell a barrow from a mound? What, exactly is a tumulus and how can I spot one? Join Mary-Ann to find out all this, and more, as she shares the secrets of our countryside and helps us to identify the human activities that have shaped our green and pleasant land.
“This book is perfect for anyone who’s travelled through the countryside, scratched their head, and thought, ‘what on earth is that thing?’”
Mary-Ann Ochota’s TV presenting credits include Mystic Britain, Britain Afloat: Boats that made Britain (BBC2), Raised Wild/Feral Children (Discovery Networks), Britain’s Secret Treasures, Britain’s Secret Homes (ITV1), and Time Team (Channel 4). She is a presenter for BBC radio’s anthropology series, The Why Factor and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent. Mary-Ann gained her MA in Anthropology from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.
Tickets for Mary-Ann’s talk are £6, to include tea & home-made cake, and her book ‘Hidden Histories’ will be on sale at the Gluck Studio event.
For the more active, Mary is also leading a guided walk on Sunday, and we have a double deal with tickets for talk AND walk being only £15. (£3 saving)
Saturday 22nd June, 10.30am. The Steyning Bookshop (kitchen or garden marquee)
Popular illustrator of the classic picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance, the lovely Guy Parker-Rees, will be stopping by the bookshop on the morning of Saturday 22nd June to entertain children with drawing, dancing and general hilarity!
Guy’s joyous and exuberant picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance will celebrate 20 years of being in print this June! To celebrate, Hachette have released a snazzy gold-covered edition, and after his session with the children has ended Guy will create a marvellous window display in our children’s window! Feel free to hang around to watch him at work!
Tickets are £4 for children but if you buy one of Guy’s books to get signed you’ll get £4 off the book – so really they are free! Guy has illustrated LOADS of brilliant picture books so plenty to choose from!
Age guide: 3-7 year olds will enjoy this event the most.
Friday 21st June, 7pm at Wiston House.
Join acclaimed theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili as he discusses his thrilling debut sci-fi novel Sunfall.
Set in a near-future of dazzling technologies and drawing on cutting-edge science, ‘Sunfall’ is a pacy and of course, brilliantly researched and seemingly plausible sci-fi thriller which explores what might happen if the magnetic field that protects life on Earth from deadly radiation from space was to fail.
Jim al-Khalili is a British theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster. He is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey. He is a regular broadcaster and presenter of science programmes on radio and television, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Life Scientific’, and has published numerous books on physics, including Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines, Nucleus: A Trip into the Heart of Matter, Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed, The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance, and Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science. Sunfall is his first novel.
Jim will discuss his novel, its scientific inspiration, and his fascinating life in science with Richard Burge, former Director of Wilton Park.
This event is kindly supported by Wilton Park.
£25 including a Prosecco Reception and a complimentary copy of Sunfall in hardback.
Tickets on sale now!
Thursday 20th June, 7.30pm Gluck Studio.
Steyning Bookshop presents Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus performing their new album Chanctonbury Rings live at the Gluck Studio. Through spoken word and music, the piece tells of uncanny encounters with the mist-shrouded Sussex landmark. It is based on American writer Hopper’s book The Old Weird Albion, and in particular his childhood visits to Steyning, with new music composed by psych-folk artist Sharron Kraus, which she performs live on synths, strings, woodwinds and more.
This performance marks the world debut of the Chanctonbury Rings album. An early version, performed here in 2018, marked the album’s beginning. Now Hopper and Kraus come full circle, returning to launch vinyl and CD through Ghost Box Records.
The duo will perform Chanctonbury Rings in full, along with a short set of songs by Sharron Kraus.
Copies of the album and of Justin’s book The Old Weird Albion will be on sale. There will be a licensed bar selling beers, wine and soft drinks.
Tickets are £8 available via the Steyning Bookshop and direct from Ticketsource here.
Wednesday 19th June, 7.30pm. Steyning Centre, Saxon Room
At the age of eight, Iranian-born novelist Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother. Eventually she was granted asylum in America, where she made her way to Princeton.
Nayeri will be discussing the refugee experience, and its public and political perception, which is the subject of her powerful new book The Ungrateful Refugee. Weaving her own moving story with the accounts of other refugees, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, this book should be compulsory reading for all policy-makers!
Among the vivid stories in the book we see a couple fall in love over the phone, women gathering to prepare noodles that remind them of home, a closeted queer man trying to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempting to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.
Here are the real human stories of what it is like to be forced to flee your home, and to journey across borders in the hope of starting afresh.
“Dina Nayeri has written a vital book for our times. The Ungrateful Refugee gives voice to those whose stories are too often lost or suppressed. Braiding memoir, reportage and essayism, Nayeri allows those fortunate enough never to have been stateless or displaced to glimpse something of the hardships and subtleties of refugee experience. Written with compassion, tenderness and a burning anger, her book appears at the end of a decade in which division and dislocation have risen to a terrible pitch. It speaks powerfully from – and to – the heart. Please read it.”
—Robert Macfarlane, Underland, Landmarks
Dina Nayeri’s debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (2013) was translated into 14 languages. Her second novel, Refuge (2017) was a New York Times editor’s choice. She holds a BA from Princeton, and an MBA from Harvard. Her article The Ungrateful Refugee: ‘We have no debt to repay’ in The Guardian has exceeded 80k shares.
Tickets are £10 to include a £5 voucher towards book purchase.
Tickets available from The Steyning Bookshop on 01903 812062 or direct from Ticketsource.
A licensed bar will serve wine, beer and soft drinks.
Tuesday 18th June at 7.30pm. The Gluck Studio
‘An extraordinary travelogue, strange and brilliant’
In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres.
The Crossway is Guy’s account of this extraordinary adventure. Having left home on New Year’s Day, Stagg climbed over the Alps in midwinter, spent Easter in Rome with a new pope, joined mass protests in Istanbul and survived a terrorist attack in Lebanon. Travelling without support, he had to rely each night on the generosity of strangers, staying with monks and nuns, priests and families.
As a result, he gained a unique insight into the lives of contemporary believers and learnt the fascinating stories of the soldiers and saints, missionaries and martyrs who had followed these paths before him. The Crossway is a book full of wonders, mixing travel and memoir, history and current affairs. At once intimate and epic, it charts the author’s struggle to walk towards recovery, and asks whether religion can still have meaning for those without faith.
We are really looking forward to hearing Guy Stagg discussing his journey, with photographic slides.
‘Beautifully written, filled with strange encounters and extraordinary language, The Crossway is a meditation, an escape, a confrontation, a losing and a finding. It is a timely antidote to our disconnected times.‘ Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan.
A signed paperback copy of The Crossway is included in the ticket price of £12.
Tickets are available via Ticketsource or direct from The Steyning Bookshop on 01903 812062.
Tuesday 18th June, 2-4pm. The Gluck Studio
Novelist and creative writing coach Beth Miller will lead aspiring writers in a 2 hour workshop focussing on story and character development.
With lashings of tea and home-made cake to keep the creative juices flowing!
Beth Miller has published 5 books – 3 novels; The Good Neighbour, When We Were Sisters, and The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom, and 2 non fiction books; For the Love of the Archers and For the Love of Shakespeare. She also teaches on the Creative Writing Programme based at New Writing South, and works as a ‘book coach’, helping writers at all stages of their careers in one-on-one sessions.
“Beth helped me find the confidence and clarity in my writing to spur me on to complete my novel.” Martin Nathan, author of the novel A Place of Safety, published by Salt, June 2018.
Places on the workshop are limited to 15 participants, so do book early to avoid disappointment! Book here with Ticketsource or by phone / in person at The Steyning Bookshop.